Archive for keepsakes

Gifts I Got from Mom

From Mom’s album: “Stopped in Albuq. 7-1959” There’s more to this story in my new book!

I grew up in a family of six, with my parents, three younger brothers, and few relatives. Certainly none who lived nearby.

My parents did not share family stories or photos. Not really. We enjoyed slide shows of our own family vacations, but nothing historical. I guess they were too busy working and raising us up.

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What’s a photo without the story?

UPDATE: Mystery solved! (scroll down)

Who is this saucy young woman? Don’t know? Don’t care?

She looks like fun, though, doesn’t she?

What if you found this photo in a bin at Goodwill? For sale on eBay?

Would you buy it? Would you feel vaguely sad that somebody got rid of it, and move on?

What if you found her in your parents’ stuff and didn’t know who she was?

Would you keep, or toss? Would you try to find the story behind the photo?

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How NOT to Save Your Photos

photos

Photos found in donated books (click to enlarge)

Have you ever hidden anything in a book? Maybe used a photo as a bookmark? I don’t recommend it as a way to save your photos! Here’s why:

I volunteer weekly for my local Friends of the Library. We price and sort donated books for our monthly used book sales (at which I also run a cash register), and we have a lovely used book shop in the Main library downtown which is open six days a week. We raise around $200K every year for library programs such as the Summer Reading Program for children.

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Are your keepsakes a legacy, or a liability?

Mom's punch bowl, usually used for fruit, is being used here for pecans.

Mom’s crystal punch bowl, usually used for fruit, is being used here for pecans.

Have you inherited keepsakes you don’t know what to do with?

I can’t tell you how many of my clients have had a garage or storage unit full of stuff they inherited from a loved one. These items represent a mix of emotions – memories good and bad; guilt over secretly wanting to reclaim the space they occupy; fear that they will accidentally discard a priceless heirloom. They are paralyzed with indecision: Am I betraying my loved one if I part with this item? Will I forget them if I don’t keep all their stuff? (I promise you won’t!) How, and where, can I get rid of it? How, and where, can I keep it?

 

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Climbing your never-ending family tree

7 Generation Pedigree Chart with sample projects indicated.

Your family tree is never really finished! It is forever growing on both ends. New descendants of your ancestors are continually being born (even if not to you, personally), and no matter how many branches and leaves you’ve added in the past, there are always more for you to discover.

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Managing Memorabilia: 5 questions to ask before you start

We’ve all inherited and collected keepsakes and memorabilia. Are yours a legacy, or a liability? A blessing, or a burden? Are you afraid to open the boxes that have been languishing in your garage or storage unit? Do you feel overwhelmed by piles of your own photos, letters, kids’ artwork, and other tangible memories?

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A Valentine for Your Family: Planning for Your Legacy

planning legacy family willIf you got hit by a bus tomorrow, what would your loved ones be left with? Happy memories, or sad ones? Clutter and uncertainty? Or clear instructions and valued keepsakes?

What will your legacy be?

 

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Mom’s Boxes Part 3: Trip down memory lane

Me and Mike enjoying a picnic of lemonade and raisins in 1964 Indiana.

My brother, Mike, and I have agreed there’s something about going through Mom’s boxes that we hadn’t fully bargained for: Going down Mom’s memory lane includes going down our own memory lanes. This can be heartwarming, and great fun…and also embarrassing, sad, and exhausting. It feels like my life is flashing before my eyes in excruciatingly slow motion.

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